A Vegan’s Guide to Dairy-Free Milks

Posted by on March 26, 2024 | Permalink

With an ever-increasing number of people waking up to the cruel exploitation of cows in the dairy industry, the market for vegan products is growing faster than ever before.

The plant-milk industry has grown at a staggering rate in recent years and will continue to expand as more and more people choose compassion over cruelty.

Producing plant-based milks requires less water, uses a smaller amount of land, and emits much lower volumes of carbon dioxide than does exploiting cows for their mammary secretions. As if the abject suffering on dairy farms and the environmental devastation weren’t bad enough, consuming products made from another species’ secretions is also bad for our health – great for calves but not for humans. Containing high amounts of fat and several common allergens, dairy milk is linked to many illnesses and health conditions, including a higher risk of osteoporosis in women.

There’s a huge range of options available, so we’ve put together a guide to some of the best vegan milks available in the UK – and how to use them:

Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from ground almonds mixed with water. Its rich texture and slightly nutty taste make it delicious in lattes and great for blending into smoothies. It’s low in fat, sugar, and calories and naturally high in many vitamins and minerals, and it uses considerably less water to produce than dairy milk – making it ideal for those wanting to look after animals, the planet, and their health!

Cashew Milk

A relatively new arrival on the vegan scene, cashew milk is a moreish addition to any smoothie or baking recipe. Made by soaking raw cashews in water, cashew milk has a creamy taste and smooth texture that makes it the perfect base for vegan ice cream! Its deliciously mild flavour also means that many people opt for this milk in their morning cup of tea or coffee.

Coconut Drink

Coconut drink – not to be confused with tinned coconut milk, which you might add to your favourite curry – has a sweet yet refreshing taste that goes perfectly in fruit smoothies. It’s also a popular choice among matcha-latte drinkers and a tasty option for making chia pudding. Often fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12, this plant-based powerhouse will help you feel your best while you tuck into a delicious treat!

Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnut milk has a roasted nut flavour that goes well with hot chocolate and is also a firm favourite with specialty coffee houses because it heats and foams so beautifully. Luxuriously creamy, this option contains none of the saturated fat of bovine mammary secretions and delivers all the taste. Consuming hazelnut milk can also help keep your cholesterol and blood pressure down, as it is loaded with B vitamins and vitamin E as well as folic acid and the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. What are you waiting for?

Hemp Milk

Good Hemp

The seeds of the hemp plant, a relative of cannabis but without the psychoactive chemicals, are one of the best vegan protein sources in the world, containing nine essential amino acids and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp milk has a sweet, nutty taste that works very well in tea or can be whisked into a batter to make protein-packed pancakes for a Sunday morning treat!

Oat Milk

Oat milk, which can be produced locally from UK-grown crops, is made by soaking hulled oats in water. The end result is a sweet and delicious milk that heats well and doesn’t curdle, making it the optimal choice for whipping up barista-style coffees and proving why it’s the UK’s favourite plant-based milk. Beta-glucan, found in oat fibre, can also lower blood cholesterol levels, and just one serving will give you 10% of your recommended daily amount of iron – another reason to opt for this oaty delight!

Rice Milk

Rice milk is made from boiled rice, brown rice syrup, and brown rice starch. In taste tests, rice milk has been shown to be hugely popular, and it’s a great choice for people with allergies to nuts, soya, or gluten. Sweet and light, rice milk is lower in fat than other plant-based milks but doesn’t contain as much protein.`

Soya Milk

A complete protein source, soya milk is one of the most popular plant-based milks of all and one of the staple options you’ll find in mainstream coffee shops. It goes well in espresso-based drinks because of its creamy texture and neutral flavour. It has about half the fat of bovine mammary secretions, a third of the calories, and none of the cruelty!

Potato Milk

One of the newest arrivals on the vegan scene, potato milk is made by boiling and blending potatoes into a creamy and foamable delight. Potato milk has a much lower carbon footprint than milk squeezed from a non-consenting cow and only requires a small amount of water to produce, making it great for the planet and animals. What’s not to love?

Pea Milk

Last but certainly not least on our list is pea milk. Typically made by extracting protein from yellow peas and combining it with water and sunflower oil, pea milk boasts a high protein content and a neutral taste, making it wonderfully versatile in cooking. It doesn’t have the greatest name for a drink, perhaps … but hey, it’s made from peas, so what can you do?

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